January 2016 was a busy month for neighborhoods in the Promise Zone, with a variety of community events being hosted. The events, centered on housing and health & wellness issues, were well attended and enthusiastically received by community members.
Promise Zone partners hosted the first Housing and Health workshop on January 13th at Intercultural Family Services. The new workshop series focuses on practical tips and resources that help residents manage a healthy home. January’s workshop included information about buying a home and managing stress.
Mary Campbell, the Housing Department Supervisor at Intercultural Family Services (IFS), gave a presentation about the home buying process, credit, and budgeting. As part of her presentation, Mary included two testimonies from clients: One client was a Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) resident who participated in the IFS Housing Counseling Program. The other client described her experience of mortgage default, and how she later received loan modification.
Next, the acting director for Mental Health First Aid from the Philadelphia Mental Health Care Corporation, Maria Boswell, gave an interactive presentation about managing stress, knowing the signs of stress, and learning how to handle stress.
The event concluded with a presentation from PHA’s Marco Ferreira about PHA’s homeownership processes that provide job opportunities for qualified PHA residents. More information about job opportunities can be found here.
Staff from West Philly Tool Library, People’s Emergency Center (PEC) and the West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning (AFEL) were present at the event with resources and information for workshop attendees.
Other Promise Zone partners hosted events in January as well. Drexel University hosted a community call to action titled “We’re Here Because We Care” for the Mantua neighborhood on Monday, January 11th at Grace Lutheran Baptist Church. The call to action was a kick-off for the first round of health-related focus groups taking place in neighborhoods in the Promise Zone. The call to action meeting brought Mantua neighbors together to share their health concerns and ideas for future community health improvements. Focus groups will occur throughout the Promise Zone over the course of 2016.
Mount Vernon Manor CDC and People’s Emergency Center CDC also had a Healthcare and Home Resource Fair in January with resources from Philadelphia Gas Works, Benephilly, Energy Coordinating Agency, the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, Drexel University College of Medicine, and both Neighborhood Advisory Committees from Mount Vernon Manor CDC and People’s Emergency Center.
Penn Medicine held a Community Health Assessment meeting in partnership with the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) at the Walnut Street West Branch Free Library. The purpose of the meeting was for residents to provide information about the challenges and needs they face with health care providers.